Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day

This close to Father's Day, it's hard not to spend time thinking about the first time I told Marc he was going to be a dad. The first time both of us realized we were going to be parents. We both hoped it would happen but assumed it would take awhile. It didn't.

About a year after we were married he was assigned to work in a clinic in Spokane for six weeks. No big deal. My parents live there so I would drive across the state for a short visit with all of them at the half way point. After a few servings of pot roast at my parents dinner table the first night, my mom made a comment. I was really hungry for some reason.... and for red meat, which wasn't necessarily normal for me. It struck me as a little strange when I thought about it on the drive home, but I might have just missed her cooking. A couple additional symptoms prompted me to do a pregnancy test within the week. I was pretty sure I felt different.

When I made the call to Spokane it took nearly a minute for Marc to respond, but in a good way. In a 'suprised-it-happened-so fast-that-I'm-speechless' way. Our life would change, but then it had several times already. It changed in a big way when we met, when he started medical school, when we got married. In the years leading up to that we had both gone though change, graduation, new jobs, a few moves. We were used to it, welcomed it and realized we had little control over much of it. The stuff of life. Neither of us are the type that needs the future to be too planned out or perfect. When we attempted to map out the best time to start a family, we could think of reasons, financial and otherwise, to put it off until much later.......but we really wanted it to happen sooner if at all possible. So with little money, a lot of trust and big plans we jumped in. We weren't impulsive....simply realistic. Why wait?

Even though we didn't have anything tangible to show for morning sickness, no ultrasound picture, no baby bump.....we were parents. Physical evidence would come soon enough, but I'd listened to the heartbeat, seen the pregnancy test, made the phone calls. 

Every moment of the past many years of parenthood has illuminated places inside of us that we weren't even aware existed. We've found strength  and humor and creativity. Patience and unconditional love. We learned to trust ourselves and the process. To trust our boys to make the right decisions; to learn from their mistakes. It doesn't mean that those things weren't difficult sometimes. They were, but the difficulties stretched us all. It makes me laugh when I describe our parenting experience this way. The phrase that comes to mind is  "but our kids would beg to differ."  And they do. They're our kids. We're their parents. I'm not sure they will see the big picture until they have some of their own.....but I hope that someday they make big plans, are not afraid of change, trust the experience and jump in. It's been amazing.

Happy Father's Day!

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